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Central focus visual culture and artists



Based in Berlin. Japanese artist Yuken Teruya also explores the dangerous lengths of our rampant consumerist habits. Through his recycled art project, he transforms some of the biggest names in capitalism into mystical forests. Teruya uses the ancient Japanese art of Kirigami, a variation of origami that consists of cutting paper instead of simply folding it.  


Indian artist Subodh Gupta lives and works in New Delhi, making large-scale sculptures from everyday materials. He chooses objects that are particularly significant in Indian culture and then recycles them by adding them to his installations. Gupta’s art is therefore deeply rooted in Indian culture, a culture that is rapidly changing due to globalization. The objects he uses for his work already have a story, but Gupta adds another layer of meaning when he integrates them into his pieces.


This Japanese artist collects discarded daily newspapers to make life-size, lifelike, animal sculptures.

Her making process is very similar to that of the paper and pva craft, papier-mâché. She carefully selects the individual pages and pieces of newspaper based on the colour of the in on the page. The next steps are quite messy, as she wets each sheet, rolls it by hand, and then glues it into place. Some of her biggest pieces can take up to three months to make.


Khalil Chishtee

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Creating life-size sculptures out of recycled plastic bags is Pakistani artist Khalil Chishtee’s specialty. For the artist, this material is a metaphor for “recycling our identity” and a way to face the obstacles in our lives. Chishtee’s work also questions the idea of value in fine art, where bronze, wood or stone are more highly regarded due to their historical context.


Benjamin Von Wong's work lies at the intersection of fantasy and photography and combines everyday objects with shocking statistics. Artist Von Wong collaborated with a non-profit organization called Zero Waste Saigon to create a large installation project to highlight the mass consumption of single-use plastics. The installation above is constructed of over 168,000 plastic straws and other recovered plastic packaging that was collected from the local streets in Vietnam by volunteers. 

  • Jenny Kendler — interdisciplinary artist, environmental activist, naturalist & wild forager who lives in Chicago and various forests

  • Sean Yoro (Hula) — Self-taught artist who paints icebergs

  • Bahia Shehab — pyramid of garbage in Cairo

  • Lee Mokobe — Ubuntu Climate Change Heroes

  • Susie Ibarra and Michele Koppes — Water Rhythms: Listening to Climate Change

  • Camille Seaman — The Distant is Imminent (water levels)

  • Arturo Bordalo II — Portuguese artist whose giant sculptures are critical of a wasteful society, using recycled plastic, metal and other materials

  • Alejandro Duran — collects the international trash washing up on the Caribbean coast of Mexico and transforms it into aesthetic yet disquieting artworks that wake us to the threat of plastic pollution TED Talk

  • BEVERLY BARKAT/Earth Poetica — Created. a large globe from plastic ocean waste

  • Sayaka Ganz — Yokohama, Japan

  • Mbongeni Buthelezi — Paints with recycled plastic and heat gun

  • El Anatsui — Makes tapestries from reclaimed aluminum 


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Washed Ashore's artwork is centered on plastic pollution education and its impact on sea life. Our programs mix art and science and aim to encourage recycling and promote awareness. Our elaborate sculptures represent the marine life affected by plastic pollution. They are made entirely of debris found washed up on our beaches. Washed Ashore's volunteers have gathered over 60,000 pounds of debris. Beach clean-ups and the sculptures created from the debris are designed to inspire change.

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